, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 33-48

Characteristics of Toddlers and Preschoolers Exhibiting Severe Psychiatric Disturbance

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The present study reports data collected on 137 toddler and preschool children admitted for acute, psychiatric inpatient hospitalization. Utilizing a comprehensive chart review survey developed by the authors, information was obtained regarding presenting problems, family psychiatric history, family legal problems, child maltreatment in order to examine factors contributing to the need for psychiatric hospitalization. Extremely dangerous behaviors were displayed by these youngsters, placing themselves and others at significant risk of harm. The frequency of occurrence of factors that contributed to these severe adjustment difficulties was alarming. Implications regarding service needs for these young children are discussed.